You’ve heard of Intel, but have you heard of AMD? Once upon a time, this chipmaker was highly profitable with a name that rolls of the tongue of tech geeks everywhere. However, poor pricing strategy affected their profits adversely. A company could not survive merely by being cheaper than the competitor.
AMD has racked up losses amounting to $7b since 2000.
Lisa Su, 44, most recent portfolio was with Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. She turned the company around by focusing on products for new mobile phone systems and her efforts paved the way for Freescale’s growth in networking.
Su is wasting no time applying that same focus to AMD. Making unpopular decisions may cost the company some resentment with staff, but it would help the business stay afloat for the longer term.
These were some of the steps that Su took since joining AMD:
- Retrenchment. Cutting 710 jobs a week
- Taking a pay cut of $150k
- Pushing to win orders from Sony Corporation and Microsoft for their gaming consoles. A first for AMD in delivering tailor-made chips
These moves led to AMD reporting its first annual net income in three years.
Su was born in Taiwan and emigrated with her family to New York when she was about 2 years old. She developed a taste for engineering by taking apart her brother’s toys to see how they worked, according to AMD. The fact that her parents allowed her to do that and then encouraged her to go into math and science makes her unusual.
“I have extremely high standards,” she said in an internal AMD video released the day she was appointed CEO. “I really love to win.”
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